(AUSTIN) Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) CEO Wayne Roberts and others joined President of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (Texas Tech El Paso) Richard Lange and local leaders for a press conference on Friday, July 28th to spotlight a major new cancer research grant awarded to the university. The $6 million CPRIT grant (RP230420) supports the creation of a Texas Regional Excellence in Cancer (TREC) initiative at the university, which will focus on impacting cancer outcomes among Hispanics in the region.
“CPRIT is here today to highlight, in person, our presence and commitment to the El Paso region,” said CPRIT CEO Wayne Roberts. “The award for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso is transformational for cancer research in this area. This grant is not only a recognition of the significant development of cancer research here at Texas Tech El Paso, but an endorsement of the long-lasting impact this research will have across Texas.”
Cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanics in the U.S. and estimates suggest that the cancer burden amongst Hispanics will worsen over time. To address this disparity, CPRIT has shown a sustained focus on supporting increased cancer research and prevention efforts along the Texas border, from El Paso to McAllen to Brownsville.
“This $6 million CPRIT grant to Texas Tech El Paso will support a multi-disciplinary and innovative initiative – Impacting Cancer Outcomes in Hispanics - and expand the university’s research strengths and investments in cancer,” said Dr. Michelle Le Beau, Chief Scientific Officer for CPRIT. “The Program will accelerate efforts to develop and integrate novel information on the biology of cancer with cultural and behavioral determinants of these diseases to reduce cancer health disparities in the local Hispanic-predominant population. Texas Tech El Paso is uniquely positioned to address this seminal issue in cancer care and reduce the disproportionate burden of cancer in the Borderplex region and the state of Texas.”
CPRIT has invested more than $59 million in cancer research and prevention efforts in the El Paso region, including over $42 million ($42,741,762) in 27 grants for prevention efforts delivered in the El Paso area and 6 academic research grants to El Paso universities totaling almost $17 million ($16,631,725).
The Texas Tech El Paso award is one of the first five Texas Regional Excellence in Cancer (TREC) grants awarded by the state agency. CPRIT TREC awards encourage research in areas of the state historically underfunded by national or other cancer research grants. CPRIT awarded the TREC grant to Texas Tech El Paso based on the strength of its application. The project was reviewed and endorsed for approval through CPRIT’s gold standard peer review process.
El Paso is the only region in Texas that has received two TREC grants from CPRIT, namely this grant to Texas Tech El Paso and grant RP210153 to the University of Texas El Paso.
Created by the Texas Legislature and approved by a statewide vote in 2007, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) leads the Lone Star State’s fight against cancer. In 2019, Texas voters again voted overwhelmingly to support CPRIT with an additional $3 billion, for a total $6 billion investment in cancer research and prevention.
As the second largest public funder of cancer research in the nation, CPRIT provides funding for projects that deliver invaluable breakthroughs in cancer research, create high-quality jobs, and reduce cancer mortality rates across the state.
To date, the agency has awarded more than $3 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. CPRIT has also recruited 293 distinguished researchers to Texas, supported the establishment, expansion, or relocation of 56 companies to Texas, and supported nearly 9 million prevention services reaching all 254 counties in Texas.